Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin has called upon the science faculty in provincial universities to focus more on applied research which could directly play role in economic development of the country.
He was addressing the closing ceremony of an international conference on “Innovative Biological and Public Health Research (IBPHR-2017)” at the Government College University Lahore. Besides experts from within Pakistan, about 11 foreign scientists also participated in two-day conference organized by the GCU Zoology Department in collaboration Higher Education Commission, Punjab Agriculture and Research Board (PRBA) and PHEC.
Prof. Nizam mentioned that Pakistan is an agriculture economy but still it imports 2.5 billion dollar edible oils every year, and on the other hand, Pakistan has highest ratio of edible oils usage and also of cardiovascular diseases.
“I am sure that recommendations would come from this conference about our future research agenda, but my request from young and energetic faculty is that they must try to address the basic problems and needs of their country,” the PHEC said.
Prof. Nizam lauded that a culture of international conference was developing in Punjab which would surely played a key role in by connecting their universities, faculty and students with eminent scientists from different countries of the world.
The PHEC chairman highlighted an urgent need for establishing a public health school in Pakistan. “Despite the multiple challenges like dengue and deteriorating condition of public health in Pakistan, there is no specialized school for public health research in the country where subjects like Botany, Zoology and Environmental Science are integrated to focus on public health issues,” he said.
Prof. Nizam also revealed that he was hosting a dialogue among vice chancellors this weekend regarding the management and future of universities in Punjab where they would also discuss that how science research in universities could play its role in development of Pakistan.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah said that GCU had held four highly successful international conferences in last four weeks. He directed the department concerned to publish the proceedings of these conferences, so that policy makers could benefit further from them as well. He said that 115- year old Zoology Department of GCU was the oldest seat of learning and imparting knowledge in Pakistan and produced many eminent scientists including Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed, Prof. Dr. Naseer-ud-Din and Prof Dr. Ramzan Mirza. He said that he had very high expectations from his Zoology and Botany departments that they would play active role in promoting public health research in the country.
Dean Faculty of Science and Technology Prof. Dr. Islam Ullah and Dr. Tahir Ali, the conference chairman, also addressed the closing ceremony. Later, Prof. Nizam and Prof. Shah presented shields to the participants of the conference.